Did you know heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States, causing more than 600,000 deaths each year? In fact, an American has a heart attack every 40 seconds.1 Why are we bringing up these scary stats you ask? Because it’s February which means its also American Heart Month, making it the perfect time to remind you how important it is to not only have a healthy heart, but to practice healthy habits that can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Celebrating American Heart Month
In the spirit of improving heart health, leading healthier lives, and reducing the risk of heart attack (and other cardiovascular disease), here are 3 great ways you can help celebrate American heart month:
1. Form a heart-healthy habit
Engaging in physical activity, eating a healthy diet, limiting daily stress, and watching your weight all contribute to maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Whether you decide to start jogging or even substituting diet soda with water, these are a few examples of heart-healthy habits that will help reduce risk factors and improve your heart health. In fact, did you know drinking one or more diet sodas a day increases your chances of having a heart attack by approximately 43%?2
Educate yourself about the various risk factors for heart disease such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more. If any of these describe you, then you are at particularly high risk for developing heart disease. It’s not only important that you are aware of these risk factors, but it is equally important that you learn how to prevent them.
3. Get your cholesterol and blood pressure tested
If you’re worried you might be at risk for heart disease, ask your local pharmacist to perform a simple cholesterol test or blood pressure screening to let you know if you are at risk and should make diet adjustments. Pharmacists are also a great resource and support system for diabetes management, smoking cessation, and weight loss programs.
Would you like to talk with your local pharmacist and hear more about the various ways they can help you rescue your risk of heart disease? Just check out our directory to see where your closest community pharmacy is located!
- Alex J. Adams and Michael E. Klepser, APhA 2016 Conference Presentation, “Quick Read: Do Point-of-Care Tests Add Value?”
- National Today, American Heart Month – February 2022